22 AUGUST 1958, Page 19


SIR,—Mr. James Friend returns, in your last issue, to outworn accusations against Israel which were disproved many years ago. Thus he claims that the entry of Jews into Palestine in the years between the two wars resulted in Arab peasants being deprived of their livelihood. In fact, exactly the reverse is the case. The standard of living of the Arab inhabitants of Palestine, as statistics show, improved in direct proportion to the number of Jews who entered.

The same is true of the size of the Arab popula- tion. Whilst the Jewish population increased from 70,000 to half a million between the two wars (not 'nearly a million,' as Mr. Friend claims), the Arab population increased from 500,000 to over a million in the same period.

Arab hostility to the West is part of a general ferment amongst nations who are on the brink of independence or who have recently attained it. Hatred of Israel, deliberately provoked by people like Nasser, plays a part in the promotion of Arab nationalism, but it should not be exaggerated. It might be worth noting that the present Middle East crisis in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan has little, if any- thing, to do with Israel and developed after an un- precedented 'quiet period' in Israel-Arab relations. —Yours faithfully, 4 Kennyland Court, Hendon Way, NW4 11. PINNER